The arrival of spring brings in new beginnings and fresh starts, and there’s no better way to kick off the season than with a thorough cleaning of your living space.

Spring cleaning is a great way to declutter your home, get rid of unnecessary items, and prepare your space for the warmer weather ahead. It can be daunting, but it can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience with the right plan and approach.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your spring cleaning efforts:

  1. Create a plan: The first step is to create a cleaning plan. Identify the areas that need the most attention and prioritize them accordingly. Start with the most challenging tasks and work your way down the list. This approach will help you stay motivated and focused.
  2. Declutter: Spring cleaning is an excellent opportunity to declutter your home. Get rid of items you no longer need or use, and donate or sell them if they are still in good condition. Decluttering will not only make your home look tidier, but it will also help you create a more functional and organized space.
  3. Clean room by room: Break down the cleaning process by tackling one room at a time. Start with the most used areas, such as the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. Dust surfaces, vacuum carpets, and wash floors thoroughly. Remember to clean hidden areas such as behind appliances, under furniture, and in closets.
  4. Use the right tools: Make sure you have the necessary cleaning supplies and tools for each task. Use microfiber cloths for dusting, a vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove allergens, and a steam mop to clean floors. Using the right tools will make cleaning easier and more effective.
  5. Involve the family: Spring cleaning is not just a one-person job. Involve the whole family and assign tasks according to their age and abilities. Make it a fun and interactive experience by playing music or offering rewards for a job well done.

Now that you have cleaned, please try to be environmental about items you are looking to purge.

Reduce: Go room-by-room, drawer-by-drawer, and closet-by-closet to group the items that you haven’t used in a while. If you cannot remember the last time you used it or forgot that you had it, it is a good sign that it is time to pass it on.

Reuse: Avoid the “throw it away” mentality and consider how the item can be re-used. Can old furniture be re-finished or re-upholstered? Are there creative uses for the item that you haven’t thought of?

Recycle: As you do your spring cleaning, look around your home to see how you can better set it up for easy recycling.  For instance, is there a place in the bathroom or upstairs to put recyclables, like toilet paper rolls, paper, and plastic shampoo bottles?  Many items commonly do not make it to recycling because people need to remember or know they are recyclable.

Donate or Sell: There are probably plenty of items that you don’t need or want anymore, but someone else would appreciate them.  If you think the item has value, try selling it on a garage sale, swap and sell site, online, or through apps like eBay, Offer Up, Mercari, or Craigslist.  Donating your items to places like Goodwill or a local clothing drive will help to give the items new life.

Avoid Waste: When doing your spring cleaning, aim for zero waste. For instance, instead of using paper towels to clean your windows, use old or washable towels or even newspaper.  Instead of buying plastic bags for your trash, utilize any leftover plastic bags from the grocery or discount store.

Watch for Community Drives: During the spring, and also at other times of the year, local communities and recycling centers may have Recycling or Collection events, where they welcome and encourage recycling or disposal of certain items, from clothing to electronics, or even large appliances. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what to do with certain items so that they can be reused, recycled, or disposed of properly, and these events help to make it easy.

If you have done a lot of cleaning and need to dispose of items, do not overload your association’s trash or recycling. Be a good neighbor, and don’t just leave items out days ahead of pick-up days. Please always dispose of items correctly, and if you have a more significant load or large items, please make sure to call a company for a special pick up of your items. 

Whenever possible, we all need to do our part to recycle and cut down on waste. Advantage Management and your associations want to thank you for doing your part. We want to remind everyone of some best practices regarding recycling for yourself and the association.

Here are some simple tips for recycling more effectively at home:

  1. Flatten cardboard boxes so that you can fit more recyclables into your bin.
  2. All plastic bottles can be recycled, from water bottles to salad dressing, so put all of them in your recycling container. Items that had food should be cleaned and dried before disposal.
  3. It is not just newspapers that you can recycle at home. Also, recycle wrapping paper, envelopes, birthday cards, and phone books. All sorts of cardboard can be recycled, too, even toilet and paper towel tubes.
  4. Most metallic items in the home can be recycled, such as empty spray cans, tin foil, and of course, all empty soda, fruit, vegetable, and other food cans. Items that had food should be cleaned and dried before disposal.
  5. If you are unsure what you can recycle, check with your refuse provider website. There should be comprehensive information about what is or is not suitable for your recycling container or containers. Most refuse providers also have apps for your smartphone where you can check what to and what not to recycle.
  6. Glass can be recycled endlessly; it does not wear out after several recyclings, so always recycle your glass bottles and containers.
  7. To help your recycling center and keep down foul odors, ensure you wash food waste off of any plastic or glass food containers before putting them in the recycle bin.
  8. Food should never be placed in recycling bins.
  9. Greasy pizza boxes should NOT be recycled. They should be thrown away.

Also, consider reducing use and reusing items instead of just throwing them away in the bins. Grocery bags can be used multiple times, keep some in your car and bring them into the grocery store the next time you go instead of taking a new bag. 

Please check out the EPA’s website, with some great information on reducing, Reuse, and Recycling. 

Being a Good Neighbor

Here are a few helpful reminders for all homeowners and tenants as you start to venture outdoors. Always remember to be respectful of your neighbors and surroundings. Always consult with your property’s Rules and Regulations for specific guidelines for your property. 

  • When walking your dog(s), please keep them leashed in any common areas of your property and while walking them around. 
  • Please remember to always pick up after your pets and dispose of the waste properly.
  • When hosting outdoor parties, large or small, be respectful of noise levels and the time. Be a good neighbor and ends noisier gatherings at a reasonable hour.
  • With many people still working at home, always remember to keep your noise levels down so your neighbors don’t hear.
  • If you plan on doing some Spring cleaning, make sure you do not clog trash chutes, overload dumpsters, or leave items outside. Make the appropriate accommodations if you have a more significant amount of trash than usual.
  • When recycling, please follow your property’s procedures and always break down your boxes to save on space.
  • If you plan on doing any remodeling inside your home, please get in touch with your management team to ensure all procedures are being followed.

If you are moving or have tenants moving, please make sure to contact your management team for your Association’s specific guidelines. Please update all information with management, including new leases, emails, or phone numbers.

Enjoy the nicer weather, and thank you for being part of the Advantage Management portfolio.